Log In

Reset Password
News Local News Nation & World New Mexico Education

City of Durango makes $180,000 in grants available for event marketing

Funds can help pay for printed materials, advertising and social media campaigns
Grant applications for event marketing funding are being accepted by Visit Durango in the second year of the program. The program awarded 40 grants ranging roughly from $500 to $5,000 in 2022, said Rachel Welsh, spokeswoman for Visit Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Event coordinators looking to create printed materials, paid advertising, social media campaigns and other marketing activities for local events are eligible to apply for grant funding from Visit Durango, the area tourism office, through 2023.

The city of Durango’s lodgers tax fund provided $180,000 to be distributed through event marketing grants this year, an increase from $120,000 in 2022, the first year the grants were made available through collaboration between the city and the tourism office, Rachel Welsh, Visit Durango spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

The grant program was well-received last year, she said. Visit Durango’s events task force awarded 40 grants ranging roughly from $500 to $5,000 and many recipients also took advantage of the tourism office’s free marketing consultation services with James Flint, Visit Durango events coordinator.

Events that received event marketing grants in 2022 include, among others, the Animas Valley Balloon Ralley, the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic and the Women's Resource Center's 3rd Annual Men In Heels.

The 34th annual Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering Parade, which drew about 1,500 people to downtown Durango on Oct. 1, was one of 40 events funded by Visit Durango and the city of Durango’s jointly coordinated events marketing grant program last year. Applications are being accepted for 2023 events and can be found on Visit Durango’s website. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald file)

This year, the only restriction on grant sizes is the budget of $180,000, she said.

Welsh recommended that prospective applicants apply for funding at least 45 days before their planned events, but the sooner one applies, the better.

“Events always tend to perform better when marketing efforts begin several months before the event, so you will want to have access to grant funds for those efforts,” she said.

Events are more likely to be greenlit for grant funding if they are scheduled for the nonpeak season, if they promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and if they contribute to sustainability with a low environmental impact, she said. Multigenerational family-friendly events, events with an educational bent and events impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, among others, also have increased chances of being approved for funding.

Welsh said applications will be reviewed during monthly meetings of the Events Task Force, a group of six voting members, including city of Durango representatives, the Visit Durango Board of Directors, community members, and nonvoting Visit Durango staff.

The applications are available on Visit Durango’s website at https://bit.ly/3H26iLg

In a testimonial provided by the tourism office, Hayley Kirkman, marketing manager and co-founder of the Animas City Night Bazaar, said the event marketing grant the nonprofit received last year helped it source services from a local graphic designer, photographer and marketing manager. In turn, more attention was drawn to the bazaar’s monthly events.

“The application process was very straightforward and we were able to converse with the Visit Durango team about ways to make our event marketing even stronger,” she says in the testimonial.


Reader Comments